THE STATE OF THE ART FOR PLUG-IN HYBRIDS
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Thu, May 12, 2011
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
A plug-in hybrid that can go from 0-60 mph in under three seconds and have a top speed of 200 mph? Reports that Toyota will turn all Prius models into plug-in hybrids. A hybrid successor to the Acura NSX? The ultimate plug-in hybrid from Porsche? Ailis Aaron Wolf discusses these and more as she assesses the state of the plug-in hybrid art. Although early reports indicated Toyota would make plug-in technology standard in the Prius by 2014, the company quickly responded that the report was incorrect and it will only offer plug-in technology in smaller quantities in its hybrid lineup. However, since the company was once reluctant to offer any plug-in technology at all, this should satisfy at least some of those who want a bit more MPG from Prius.
And why isn't Toyota taking the bold step of converting its entire hybrid lineup to plug-ins? The company says the technology adds a lot of weight and cost to the cars and the benefits aren't large enough to justify. Toyota is also skeptical that all consumers of the popular Prius will want to pay thousands more for 10 to 15 miles of electric charge. Nonetheless, the plug-in Prius will become a piece of Toyota's hybrid lineup starting in 2012 and the online order system is now open, if you want to sign up to say you are interested in purchasing the Prius plug-in. There are some who believe Toyota should proceed with the bold move and add plugs to all their Prii by 2014—if they are also sold at the same price that the regular hybrid version is now, which is what was originally reported. It might cost the company up front but could keep the plug-in hybrid market firmly in Toyota's grasp, if the plug-in Prius were available at $26,000—clearly beating out the $41,000 Chevy Volt.
If we told you there was a plug-in hybrid that could go 200 mph and go from zero to 60 in less than three seconds, you'd probably be skeptical. But it's true. However, if you're interested in this plug-in hybrid sports car, you better have some serious cash. Not only does the Jaguar C-X75 belong on the green car list, it also qualifies for the most expensive car list at a cool million dollars. If you're interested in a slightly less expensive plug-in hybrid sports car, the Porsche 918 Spyder is available for $845,000. And Acura is working on a hybrid successor to its discontinued NSX sports car. Jim Motavalli also proposes hybrid/electric versions of cars from high-end manufacturers such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, which sound good to us. Ailis Aaron Wolf Hybrid Owners of America